Antebellum Julep

Alba Huerta

Julep, Houston

"As a veteran of the Houston cocktail scene, Alba Huerta has plenty of classic drinks in her repertoire. Most days, however, she is particularly focused on just one—the julep, for which her charming Washington Avenue bar is named. Though the julep we’re all familiar with is usually made with bourbon, Huerta’s antebellum version hews closely to the early-nineteenth-century Southern recipe, historically made with cognac and rum. In another nod to tradition, Huerta includes a touch of sorghum syrup in place of simple syrup for extra depth. As for the mint, Huerta’s go-to variety is spearmint, which has a mild, slightly sweet and fruity profile. Just don’t overmuddle the leaves or you risk releasing bitter chlorophyll into the drink. Three or four good twists of the muddler is plenty." —The Southerner's Cookbook


1 cocktail


  • 8 to 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 bar spoons sorghum syrup
  • 2 ounces cognac
  • ½ ounce Jamaican rum


In a julep cup, lightly muddle the mint leaves and syrup. Pour in the cognac to rinse off the muddler, then remove the muddler.

Fill the cup three-quarters full with crushed ice and stir with a bar spoon. Add a small dome of crushed ice and pour rum over the top. Garnish with a mint sprig and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.